Pentagon Phoenix Project

For Pentagon Phoenix Project Team, Department of Defense

I. Project Performance

Summary of Project

At 9:38 AM EDT, on the morning of September 11, 2001, the Pentagon Phoenix Project was initiated when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the west face of the Pentagon. The airplane and subsequent blast traveled at a 45-degree angle to the face of the building. It entered Wedge 1, the first fifth of aboveground Pentagon office space to undergo renovation, and traveled into unrenovated Wedge 2 before exiting the C-ring into A-E Drive, allowing the force from the blast to escape upwards, leaving the B-ring untouched. Of the 2,600 people in the immediate area of impact, 125 did not survive the attack and over 100 people were injured.

At that moment, The Phoenix Project became a new project within the ongoing Pentagon Renovation Program (PenRen). The project covered the rebuilding of the sections of the Pentagon that were most severely damaged by the attack. The area of work extended from Corridor 4 to Corridor 5, and-rings C, D and E, which represented approximately 400,000 square feet of the Pentagon. Half of the affected area rested in Wedge 1 of the Pentagon and the other half of the area rested in Wedge 2. The scope of work included the demolition of the damaged structure, rebuilding the core and shell in Wedge 1, and the shell only for Wedge 2. Core work is considered shared building infrastructure supporting the tenant (e.g., telecommunications cable trays,) and the shell is limited to the concrete structure. See Section I.B for a diagram of the area in the Pentagon covered by the Phoenix Project.

The objective of the project was to reoccupy the E -ring at the point of impact by September 11, 2002.

The Phoenix Project exceeded the customer's expectations: the project was completed ahead of schedule, under budget, with several design enhancements. The E-ring was reoccupied on August 15, 2002. The extent to which the E-ring was reoccupied by September 11, 2002 was greater than the plan specified. Tenants reoccupied the Phoenix section plus the section of the Pentagon damaged by fire, smoke, water, and mold.

The Phoenix Project was complex and had numerous issues and barriers to overcome:

  • In the first month, 646 issues were logged and tracked. That equates to 21.5 issues per day working 7 days a week.
  • Management of a schedule with 30,000 activities.
  • Demolition of 400,000 GSF of structure resulting in 56,000 tons of contaminated debris.
  • Fabrication and installation of the limestone façade using 1941 drawings. 2.5 million pounds of limestone was fabricated and installed by June 11, 2002.
  • 3.0 million man-hours were worked within an 11-month construction period with only 5 single-day lost work incidents.
  • 21,000 cubic yards of concrete poured; 3,800 tons of reinforcing steel placed.
  • Construction during a war effort. The missions of the various military agencies were changing daily causing constant revisions to the program, system, and furnishing and equipment requirements.
  • Heightened security restrictions for the hiring and site access of manpower.

The Phoenix Project addressed these challenges with several innovations in the field of project management:

  • Integrated Project Management through the use of an Integrated Product Team allowed faster formation of the team, enhanced project team communications, and tighter and more accurate integration of project plans.
  • Time Management through the development of the Ultra Fast Track schedule enabled earlier installation of the exterior limestone and for multiple crews to work concurrently in the construction life cycle.
  • Time Management by issuing drawings while still under development to allow early material ordering and manpower planning.
  • Procurement Management through the use of a Design-Build project lifecycle instead of a Design-Bid-Build lifecycle. Single contracts were awarded at a Fixed Price to design and build the Phoenix Project.
  • Procurement Management through the use of a Total Systems Performance Responsibility contract. Contractors had responsibility for meeting the objectives and functional requirements specified.
  • Procurement Management through the implementation of a Fixed Price, Award Fee, Incentive Fee (FPAFIF) contract. Contractors were financially motivated to perform desired project management including completing the project on cost and on schedule.

To accomplish the objectives, the project team had to: establish a preliminary schedule; scope the project; integrate the project with ongoing PenRen activities; gather cost/budget information; develop contractual agreements with subcontractors and establish procurement agreements with suppliers; perform a project risk analysis; establish quality control/quality assurance standards for all phases of the project life cycle; develop an internal and external communications plan and also put in place a human resources plan to foster teamwork between all personnel as well as deal with the emotional impact of the tragedy.

If there was an overriding theme guiding the work on the Phoenix Project, it was that the success of the project was larger than any one task. Consequently, a visitor to the site would see electricians assisting plumbers or architects working side-by-side with carpenters and masons. Indeed, the whole team from the engineers and management staff to the over one thousand various carpenters and laborers on-site had the same picture in mind – a picture of triumph, rising from the ashes of tragedy.

At the ceremony marking the one-year anniversary of the tragedy, General Richard B. Meyers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thanked the Phoenix Project Team by saying,

“You've restored this great building ahead of schedule, with muscle, determination, marble, cement and Indiana limestone. You did more than repair our windows and walls, you repaired ours souls. In the process, you turned this building into another symbol, one of American resilience.”

Special Management Methods

IPT team structure and processes: Integrated Project Teams (IPTs) were used in some areas of the original Wedge 1 and Wedge 2 renovation projects. The Phoenix Project expanded the use of IPTs to groups such as IM&T. The success of IPTs at the managerial level resulted in workers creating their own informal IPTs for on-site decision-making. Equally important, the IPTs provided team building and were instrumental in the communications process.

Contract Type: The use of a FPAFIF contract was implemented by the government to streamline the normal procurement process AND motivate contractors to be creative in their implementation of solutions AND focused on cost-control.

Risk Management: Within the contract structure, the Government pushed an increasing amount of Risk Management responsibility to the contractor. Both award fees and incentive fees fostered creativity of solutions and manage costs.

Internally, the Government Program Manager told his group to manage schedule and quality, he would manage the cost component of the project.

Quality Management: Inspections were performed daily with a rolling punchlist. Ordinary QA/QC processes would have taken several weeks to complete. Instead, both government and contractor conducted daily walk-throughs until all quality deficiencies were addressed. The type of contract also placed the burden of QC on the contractor while the government had primary responsibility for QA.

II. Project Integration Management

Project Plan Development

Due to the encouraged team environment, Phoenix Project plans were well integrated. The IPT provided a collaborative framework for the functional representatives from the various contractors, tenants, building representatives, security, and PenRen. Through the IPT framework, team members shared in plan development. With all of the stakeholders around the table, it was possible to update plans on the fly and keep everyone informed about the affects of upcoming activities.

As a result of IPT meetings, functional members were able to keep their organizations informed about project plans. AMEC, the prime construction contractor, was a good example of this process. AMEC developed the Pod, their equivalent of an IPT. The Pod was a focal point for a particular construction phase of the building, e.g., structure and skin. The AMEC Pods were comprised of engineers, the construction superintendent, quality engineers, and the Senior PM. The senior PM in attendance at the IPTs would take the information back to the AMEC Structure & Skin Pod and provide updates to the AMEC plans accordingly.

PenRen is comprised of several geographic IPTs, inlcuding Wedge 1 and Wedge 2. Each geographic IPT draws upon functional IPTs, crossing geographic boundaries, for resources such as, Operations, Security, IM&T, and Planning. On the day of the attack, the Phoenix IPT was formed and resources were reassigned. The fast formation of the Phoenix Project team and the integrated nature of the IPT, allowed faster, more agile, and better communication of the project plans. There is nothing unusual about a loosely matrixed organization. What is unusual in PenRen is that the resources for the IPT come from organizations that are trained and setup to support the IPT structure. IPTs are all understood and accepted as a way of life in the functional organizations.

A challenge to the Phoenix Project was the need coordination with external projects. In other words, the activities and milestone on the schedule had dependencies and successors external to the Phoenix Project. For example, the Wedge 2 Renovation Project was adjacent to the Phoenix Project. Wedge 2 Renovation had to adjust its plans for core and shell construction in the demolished area.

Project Plan Execution

Project Execution was done concurrently with scope development, project integration, and other planning activities. Before plans were finalized or even in draft form, the project was executing, albeit unplanned, activities. The risks this could create were many, including:

  • Differing interpretations of instructions among project members for the who, when, what, and where of executing activities
  • Failure to integrate project plans cohesively
  • Indecision / hasty decision / wrong decision
  • Poor cost and schedule estimating
  • Poor quality and rework
  • Customer dissatisfaction

The Phoenix Project mitigated these risks by maintaining frequent communication among the IPT, reusing intellectual capital from similar projects, hiring subject matter experts, working long, laborious hours, simplifying the project to two objectives (BIC (Butts In Chairs) at the point of impact) and one constraint (make it look like it did 10 September, 2001).

The daily early morning walk-throughs assured the project team they had current and accurate information. The team could then discuss issues, troubleshoot and make prompt decisions. In many cases the team did not have all the facts. In order to move the team forward, they had the support of their senior management to make decisions even when they didn't have all the facts.

Floor monitors were also assigned to each of the five floors. They provided updates no older than an hour old for the weekly change management and issues meetings.

Change Requests were the input to the IPT change management process. Sources for the change requests could come from the design team, contractors or the tenants.

Once a change is realized, an owner of the change by the respective group was assigned the responsibility to submit the change for entry into the IPT Change Management process.

Integrated Change Control

For the majority of the Phoenix project, changes were fast and frequent. The AMEC contract alone had $50 million in changes on a $205 million contract.

Early into the project, PenRen management realized change management was stopping the progress of the project. The Deputy PM was sent to the site to be available to sort through the issues. Change and issues meetings were held once a week. An IPT change process was instituted. The process followed these steps:

  1. Assign a Contractor POC and Government POC.
  2. Conduct a walk-through of where the change is to occur.
  3. Document the Scope of Work.
  4. Document and agree upon assumptions between both parties.
  5. Contractor submits ROM. Depending on the urgency of the change, the government could issue of an LOC with an NTE.
  6. IPT meeting scheduled to review the final ECP for approval or rejection.

Contractors had their own change management process in support of the government's. AMEC kept a database or a Change Log of change requests to track their progress. Information was required to process the change requests. The government provided documentation to AMEC and AMEC would then build the ECP.

To further accelerate the change management process, tiered dollar thresholds were established that determined what signature levels were required. At the lowest threshold, the change was approved on the spot where it was requested. Implementing the dollar thresholds reduced the time to approve the change requests.

Once the change was approved, the respective members were on hand to adjust baselines and plans.

III. Project Scope Management


The moment American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the Pentagon; the Phoenix Project was initiated. The project was authorized without reviewing a strategic plan, using project selection methods, or producing a Project Charter.

Overnight, the cost to renovate the Pentagon was estimated and submitted to Congress. By 15 September 2001, the decision was made to occupy the point of impact within a year and Congress authorized $700 million in emergency funds.


At first, the rebuilding and recovery of the Pentagon was considered one project. Within weeks, the extent and variety of damage was defined and the Phoenix Project and Wedge 1 Recovery Project were established.

The scope of the Phoenix Project encompassed the demolition and rebuilding of the sections of the Pentagon that were most severely damaged in the September 11 terrorist attack. The area of work extended from Corridor 4 to Corridor 5, and the C, D and E-rings, which represented roughly 400,000 square feet of the Pentagon. Half of this area rested in Wedge 1 of the Pentagon and the other half of the area rested in Wedge 2 of the Pentagon. The Phoenix Project scope of work included rebuilding the core and shell of Wedge 1 and only the shell of Wedge 2.

The Wedge 1 Recovery project scope of work was to repair the fire, smoke, and water damage in Wedge 1 that was not part of the Phoenix Project.

As the scope of damage became clear, so did the budget. The original budget estimated at $700 million was reduced to $501 million trhough contract negotiations. Concurrently, the WBS, the number of activities, and their durations also changed the project scope.

The project delivery method and project success was due largely to the Integrated Product Team (IPT structure). An IPT was already in existence for the Wedge 1 renovation. The Phoenix Project and the Wedge 1 recovery were two additional geographict teams for the functional organizations to support. The functional resources were similarly organized under the same reporting structure within the Pentagon Renovation Program. Resources were reallocated to the Phoenix Project and the Wedge 1 Recovery Project.

The IPT structure fostered collaboration among the building owner, PenRen, and contractors. The IPT structure was conducive to have all stakeholders voice their opinions. That way, the project scope could keep pace with the dynamic work environment until it was definitized into multiple contracts with multiple contractors by mid-January 2003.

Objectives for time, budget and quality were spelled out in the Award Fee Plan. The government scored the contractor, typically every three months, on the achievement of these parameters by evaluating the contractor's performance in project management, schedule management, change control, client relationship and quality management.


As explained earlier, the Phoenix Project was an outgrowth of the Wedge 1 Recovery Project. It was different because it required demolition as opposed to repair and had an aggressive 10-month demolition, reconstruction reoccupation schedule. The Phoenix Project was subdivided because it included portion of both Wedge 1 and Wedge 2. Wedge 2 already had a contract awarded for renovation. The scope of work for the Phoenix Project portion of Wedge 2 was to rebuild only the shell and then turn the space over to the Wedge 2 renovation contractor.

The WBS for the Phoenix Project was divided mostly by trade function. The WBS was derived from the original Wedge 1 renovation and included the complete demolition down to slab on grade and reconstruction. The WBS for the Phoenix Project essentially used the same WBS except it did not require tenant relocation and demolition. Additional WBS elements were required to do the demolition and shell work.


Commissioning was the process used by the Phoenix Project for scope verification. Commissioning verified and documented that the performance of building systems achieved the design intent and met the owner's functional and operational needs.

The primary goals of Commissioning are:

  1. Identify and document owner needs and requirements of the facility
  2. Verify that designed systems are commensurate with owner needs
  3. Verify that systems installed are operable and maintainable
  4. Test of systems to verify that they perform optimally
  5. Verify that design intent, installation, operations and maintenance requirements are well-documented
  6. Train operators and facility staff to ensure maintainability

Commissioning went beyond testing, adjusting, and balancing and traditional inspection services. Commissioning involved functional performance testing to determine how well building systems, such as fire safety, mechanical and electrical systems worked together. Commissioning sought to determine whether equipment met a facility's operational goals or whether it needed to be adjusted to improve efficiency and overall performance. These activities were not part of the typical design and construction process or part of standard operations and maintenance procedures.

Change Control

For Scope Change control, please see the section on Integrated Change Control; changes in scope were incorporated into Integrated Change Control.

IV. Project Times/Schedule Management

Activity Definition, Sequencing, Duration Estimating, and Development

Fortunately for the Phoenix Project, the Wedge 1 Renovation was still active, although it was about to close out. The Wedge 1 Renovation Project became a very valuable source for input into creating the Phoenix Project schedule and plan. All the activities and soft dependencies had already been defined.

The primary project constraint in developing the schedule was the self-imposed deadline to have the point of impact reoccupied by the one-year anniversary. The schedule was constantly accelerated, always maintaining its initial deadline.

During the first four weeks after the attack, the schedule was very informal because there was no access to Primavera nor historical data. Estimates were made quickly and then tracked. Once the FBI released the Wedge 1 trailer, the schedule went through more formal development.

To activate the Phoenix Project schedule, the existing renovation schedule was utilized. The fragnets were reviewed to add new ones, delete old ones, or change them according to the unique conditions of the Phoenix Project. The decision for what adjustments to make was mutual between the contractor and the government. Unique conditions to the Phoenix Project were factored into the sequencing and duration. Once an agreement was reached, the contract was definitized and the schedule baselined.

To accelerate the construction of the building, KCE Engineering developed an ultra fast schedule. The area to be reconstructed was divided into three horizontal stages to enable a wedding cake construction sequence. The three outer-rings within each stage were also independently sequenced (E, C then D). This method allowed early installation of the limestone façade, main electric vaults, main mechanical systems, and roofing systems. In addition, instead of waiting for the concrete of an entire floor to be poured before sending in subsequent crews, smaller sections were poured so crews could work simultaneously, rotating through each of the construction sequences.

The Phoenix Project schedule also had to integrate with two external projects: the Wedge 2 Renovation Project and the Wedge 1 Recovery Project which was to remove the collateral damage caused by fire, smoke, and water. Each of these projects had their own PM, funding, and schedule. Coordination among the projects was enabled through the IPT process. Dependencies between the schedules were identified for tracking, managing, and controlling the schedules.

Schedule Control

Due to the fast pace of the project, keeping the schedule up-to-date was difficult. In most cases, the status data was so new and frequent, that there was little time to update the schedule. The Deputy PM would ask the scheduler in the daily status meetings, “if there was enough float in the schedule” to accommodate a change request, resolve an issue, or accept a schedule delay. Without an up-to-date schedule, the scheduler made estimates on the viability of finishing the project on time. The project team held weekly scheduling meetings where the schedule was reviewed and updated. Updates to the schedule were the results of the daily status meetings. The input to the meetings came from the 3:30 AM walk-throughs.

V. Project Cost/Resource Management

Resource Planning

Experts in crisis management who had 30-plus years of experience were hired within hours of the attack. A management core team of two key consultants (one in design and the other in construction) and the PenRen Program Manager and Deputy Program Manager collaborated on the resources they needed.

At first, the rescue needs of Pentagon personnel in the impacted area were immediate. Cranes were ordered and delivered. A gravel access road to the site was needed and built. Clean dumpsters for removal of evidence and other debris had to be ordered. Emergency voice and data communications were required for the site and ordered.

Once the scope statement was defined, the core management team delegated to other members on the PenRen team to allocate resources as necessary. Fundamental to the plan was to use the existing Wedge 1 renovation team made up of the original tenants, the PenRen IPT, and contractors. The benefit to the plan was that relationships, infrastructure, tools, and processes were already in place.

Cost Estimating

The PenRen team started the estimating process with fragnets of the original W1 renovation. Cost adjustments were made according to the unique needs of the Phoenix Project. For example, a multiplier was required for 24-hour per day shifts. PenRen worked with the contractors to develop the ROM cost estimates. The initial estimate was $720 million.

PenRen then developed LOCs based on their expert judgment. The core management team used the equivalent of parametric modeling and analogous estimating. They knew how much area was destroyed. They considered Phoenix to be the demolition and construction of an entire new building within a building. They estimated 400,000 square feet of space was destroyed. They used their expertise to estimate the cost of rebuilding this area.

The top-down total cost estimate was then broken down to a high level WBS, which enabled the assignment of work to the appropriate contractors with NTEs assigned for each respective contractor LOC. The NTEs were based on past experience using Wedge 1 Renovation as the benchmark. Differentials to the benchmark could then be efficiently addressed between PenRen and the contractor. The Phoenix Project used the following breakdown:

  • Design, 7%
  • Security Systems, 2%
  • Construction, 68%
  • Telecomm, 21%
  • FF&E, 1%
  • Support, 1%

As time passed, a greater understanding and assessment of the cost activities was possible. The fragnets from the Wedge 1 renovation were used to do a cost build-up of the project. Using this approach the cost estimate decreased from the $720 million ROM to $501 million.

Through collaboration between the government and contractors, the LOCs were then converted into definitized contracts that specified the work to be performed at a defined cost, and over a specified period of time.

Cost Budgeting

Cost budgeting was based on the scope of the project and the WBS activities. The building needed to be demolished and rebuilt to its original state. However, demolition was required in not only the renovated space of Wedge 1, but also in the unrenovated space of Wedge 2 where there was asbestos and other hazardous materials from the original construction of the Pentagon. The Phoenix Project therefore, required using two different cost estimating models and two different WBS activity lists. Detailed cost estimates and budgets were then built from the WBS activities.

Cost Control

The nature of a FPAFIF contract transferred much of the risk of cost estimating to the contractors. The more risk the contractors absorbed, the higher the cost to the government (PenRen). To control the cost, the contractors brought in experts in their field, for example, in asbestos abatement, and were able to make reasonable cost estimates by removing that uncertainty. A significant cost estimate for asbestos removal, for example, was in the contingency fund for removing the friable material. Once that risk was understood, the cost was more accurately estimated.

Project planned versus actual funding reports were generated by project cost area and included in the monthly Pentagon Renovation Program Review book. Funding Status allowed the project to visualize actuals against planned budgets. The Earned Value charts allowed the program to visualize schedule progress against plan and make contractor payments accordingly.

The Earned Value Management System was updated by reporting progress on milestone achievement. Percent complete was reported according to mutually agreeable metrics with the contractors. General Dynamics reported percent complete based on achieving standard milestones for the tenant buildout:

Ring Completion Phase Percent Complete
Customer Survey 30%
Telecommunications Closet Buildout 60%
Active and Passive Testing 90%
Tenant Move In 100%

Through EVMS, the contractor would then bill the government for progress payments. The graph below is an example of an Earned Value report.


Influencing change was managed in the daily meetings with the Deputy PM. The Deputy PM realized early in the project that the change requests were stopping the progress of the project. To speed the pace, a policy was established that required change requests be resolved in 24 hours.

The program prioritized change requests according to its impact on Schedule, Quality, and Cost. The impact on Schedule was the highest priority with Quality second. The Deputy PM removed cost from the table as long as the price was fair and reasonable. The Deputy PM agreed to resolve cost impacts separately with PenRen executives.

Review and approval of changes was a 4-step IPT process:

  1. Define the change: A change request was written and the contractor submitted a ROM.
  2. Understand the impact: Used consensus to understand the impact. The team was instructed to make decisions even if they did not have all the facts.
  3. Make a recommendation. The team was asked to speak up on any issues. The DPM said, “Don't let me make a mistake.”
  4. Make go/no-go decision through consensus.

VI. Project Quality Management

The magnitude of, and deadline for, the Phoenix Project required that quality management be an integrated part of the daily process and not dependent on a government inspection and control processes that would slow down task delivery. Consequently, the Government built a quality requirement into the plans for all contractors.

Quality Planning

The quality specifications for the Phoenix Project were derived from the original Wedge 1 renovation specifications. However, due to the lessons learned from the September 11 attack, the specifications were enhanced and deemed to be “Building Code plus” specifications. For example, in the original Wedge 1 renovation, only certain corridors were fire-rated. These specs were enhanced to “code plus” so that all corridors were fire-rated.

The “code policy” used was Building Official & Code Administrators (BOCA) manual. Other codes used were: NFPA 101 (life safety) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The government defined their quality policy and plan in the contract they awarded to the contractors. This policy and plan was derived from experience and DoD guidelines for quality and acquisition regulations. The type of contract awarded and the clauses incorporated into the contract established the role and quality techniques to be employed by the customer and the contractor.

The type of contract awarded was a firm, fixed-priced contract with an award fee. One of the award fee factors defined in the contract was quality control. The government quality inspectors tracked quality performance and provided a score for the determination of the award fee. The government, through the contract type of an award fee, placed the responsibility and motivation for quality assurance and quality control on the contractor.

Quality assurance was achieved through surveillance and audit while quality control was achieved through surveillance. The three phases of the surveillance methodology are described in the quality control section below.

Quality Assurance

Auditing supported Quality Assurance. The government audited the quality records of the contractors to assure they performed all required quality activities. Records inspected included quality control reports and redline drawings. Other audits included checking material as it was delivered on the trucks against the approved submittals (not the contractor's Purchase Order.)

Through root cause analysis, corrective actions were taken to improve the overall quality of the products delivered. Some improvements that were made include:

  • Preventing cracked Terrazzo installation
  • Converting stud firewalls to concrete masonry
  • Increasing reinforcement of the stairwells

The QA function was supported by Surveillance. Periodic and random checks were made of the contractor's work products to assure they were performing required quality control activities.

Quality Control

Quality Control was performed by the contractor and to a more limited extent by the government. The contractor performed 100% of the required inspections while the government inspected a random sample of the work products to check the quality of the products they received.

Surveillance was performed at three different points in the construction process:

Prep Inspection – Code standards and submittals were reviewed so all contractor inspectors were on the same page. This phase was performed after all required plans, documents, materials were approved and/or accepted and delivered to the work site prior to beginning work on any definable feature.

Initial Inspection – A representative sample of a definable feature of work was inspected. For example, the first 16 ft of carpet installed was inspected before installing the remaining thousands of sq ft.

Follow up Inspection – Government representatives for the Phoenix Project inspected the areas with the contractor QA/Qc managers daily while work was in progress. Defects were identified and documented on a rolling punch list by the contractor. Each day new inspections were made while following up on old punch list items. This process improved the speed of the QC process. Normally, inspections would entail a government inspection scheduled months in advance, a site inspection, followed up with a written report about 2 weeks later. Based on the report, the contractor would make the changes and the area would be reinspected.

VII. Project Human Resource Management

Effective planning, staffing, and team development were critical to the project's success. While the prior renovation work on Wedge 1 provided a baseline of knowledge, more focus on human resource management was need to manage the influx of effort required to ensure the project met the September 11, 2002 deadline!

Organizational Planning

At project initiation, the two primary groups, Construction/Facilities and Information Management & Telecommunications (IM&T) utilized separate organizational structures and processes. These structures worked well with the sequential nature of the original Wedge 1 renovation, but would require change for the multi-concurrent task approach needed for the Phoenix Project.

The construction teams already used an IPT approach. The Construction IPT team and its processes, which had moved to Wedge 2 at the completion of the original Wedge 1 renovation. The existing IPT structure (consisting of representatives from the PenRen team, the facilities management groups, the user community, and the subcontractors e.g., construction, office furniture, etc.) provided the forum and methodology for defining project roles and responsibilities for the Construction/Facilities teams. This approach was in contrast to the IM&T organizational structure.

The IM&T group initially used a product-based (e.g., data, voice, mainframe) organizational structure. Although a product-based organizational structure had worked well in the original “sequential-step” Wedge 1 renovation, the deadline-driven Phoenix Project, required much closer coordination between the two groups and the use of “concurrent” work schedules. Consequently, an organizational structure and reporting change was implemented within IM&T very early on in the Phoenix Project to improve productivity and coordination.

The IM&T group was restructured into an IPT structure with cross-representation from the Facilities IPT. Additionally, the lead Program Manager on the IM&T team was made the Deputy PM on the Facilities IPT team.

Staff Acquisition

Although many volunteers came forward to offer their assistance, the project-staffing plan utilized the subcontractors already familiar with the original Wedge 1 renovation. The subcontractors were made responsible for obtaining the required additional staffing pools to support the 24/7 work schedule and ensuring their work assignments were completed when needed. Most contractors initially met their staffing requirements through 12+ hour work shifts and shifting resources from other projects. An initial constraint of processing security badges for workers was addressed by the government establishing additional badging stations.

Team Development

The cause and nature of the project provided a strong emotional driver for the Phoenix team, but emotion alone does not make an effective team. The group must develop into a team with shared common work priorities, assignments, communications methods, and close working cooperation.

While not the only team development method used, the IPT process was critical to individual empowerment and team building processes. In addition to its other project management roles, the IPT process “collocated” the team members during the morning and afternoon of each day. The IPT facilitated the resolution of issues and developed across the leadership team the “can-do” attitudes that drove the project. The positive results of the managementbased IPT led to the workers creating their own informal IPTs to support the multitude of concurrent tasks underway. The contractors organized informal IPTs to mitigate problems and resolve issues.

Phoenix Project management and DoD senior leadership also realized the importance and impact of team building. A large digital clock with the message “Let's Roll” (the immortalized call to action of Todd Beamer on United Flight 93) provided a count down of the time to project completion - September 11, 2002. Additionally, ceremonies were used to reinforce the project's objectives and recognize the effort and dedication of the workers.

Performance and project rewards can come in many different forms. As noted in PenRen's The Renovator Articles:

It was with great emotion, sacrifice and patriotism that the impacted portions of the Pentagon were demolished, rebuilt and reoccupied in less than one year. Strong leadership and a motivated workforce enabled the Phoenix Project team to challenge convention, and reduce the schedule of the original 36-month Wedge 1 renovation, by completing reconstruction and occupying the offices directly above the point of impact 28 days ahead of schedule on August 15, 2002.

More than 3,000 men and women put a year of their lives on hold to recover damaged office space twice the size of the U.S. Capitol building. They hauled away more than 50,000 tons of debris. They demolished 400,000 square feet of office space and rebuilt it from the ground up. They replaced 4,000 pieces of the Pentagon's historic limestone façade. They moved 4,600 personnel out of the Pentagon on September 12, 2001 and by September 11, 2002 had moved 3,000 people back in. They made the Pentagon whole again. The spirit of the American people was celebrated on the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attack with the Pentagon's “United in Freedom” Observance and Worker Appreciation Ceremony.

VIII. Project Communications Management

The nature of the Phoenix Project thrust PenRen into the national spotlight and under the microscope of public scrutiny. Communications Management was essential to ensure that project management personnel and all project stakeholders were accurately informed about the day-to-day operations of the Phoenix Project. Effective communication was vital for delivery of a unified message when dealing with both internal and external audiences.

The appropriate generation, collection, review, and dissemination of information on the Phoenix Project was integral to the success of the operation.

Communications Planning

The Phoenix Project, a subset of PenRen, was born out of a catastrophic event. Due to the fluid nature of the situation and the immediate need for information, flexibility was key to the communications planning process. Immediately following the attack the communications process was facilitated by on-site command posts. It was instantly determined that PenRen would assist the FBI and Arlington County Rescue teams by supplying architectural drawings and first-hand knowledge of the impacted areas. PenRen worked out an agreement with a local printer to remain open 24-hours a day to supply any required documents. PenRen established 24-hour command centers, located at the attack site and PenRen offices, to provide timely support and information.

Communications planning was the responsibility of PenRen's Information and Communications (I&C) Integrated Product Team, which was dedicated full-time to the Phoenix Project. All information prepared for an internal audience or public release was reviewed by the I&C Team for accuracy and consistency. Security concerns also were taken into consideration and the I&C Team served as first line reviewers and consulted with the Pentagon Defense Protective Service (now known as the Pentagon Force Protection Agency) before information was approved for release.

In the early stages of the Phoenix Project, face-to-face and interpersonal communication strategies were used due to the instantaneous need for information and the emotional nature of the subject matter. As the project progressed, use of the Internet and e-mail updates became an essential part of the communications process.

Information Distribution

PenRen personnel and Pentagon senior-level decision makers also needed accurate information to aid in the planning process. Meetings were held daily at 7:00 am and 5:00 pm to disseminate the most timely and accurate information. In attendance were representatives from every affected agency and all of the armed services. Project Phoenix engineers, architects, schedulers, information technology specialists, contracting officers, and FBI and FEMA personnel. The briefings provided at these meetings were disseminated electronically to Pentagon personnel and became the single best source of information for the 25,000 Pentagon tenants to get updates about the recovery effort.

In addition to the daily morning and evening briefings, bi-weekly construction progress meetings and monthly Program Manager's Review Meetings facilitated internal communication between the Phoenix Project, PenRen Program Managers and other on-going construction projects. The reports generated by the Program Manager's Review Meetings were shared with senior Pentagon leaders and Pentagon project stakeholders. These reports detailed Phoenix Project actions for the previous 30 days and action planned for the next 30 days. Daily 6:00 am foremen meetings became the best way to collect information about upcoming activities and to disseminate information to the first-line supervisors and workers on the construction site. Internal communication was also improved by the creation of a PenRen Intranet, used for the collection and dissemination of project information.

A carefully crafted message, that the Pentagon would be rebuilt on cost, on schedule, stronger and safer than before, was disseminated to a variety of external audiences requiring a variety of approaches. Again, flexibility remained a key component to success due to the short suspense of information requirements. Congressmen often arrived with little or no notice for a status briefing and tour of the Project Phoenix site. Over the course of the Phoenix Project press conferences were held to discuss the extent of the damage, plan for rebuilding and achievement of major milestones. Project milestones were frequently accompanied by high-level ceremonies presided over by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Defense and drew heavy media attention. Press days were established to allow access to the project site. Separate days were set aside to specifically target the foreign press, which had an active interest in the project progress.

A bi-monthly newsletter, The Renovator, was circulated to Pentagon personnel and was included in an ever-changing press package. The PenRen website was revised during the Phoenix Project timeframe and a heavy emphasis was placed on weekly updates about the project. The I&C Team documented the progress of the Phoenix Project with more than 20,000 photographs, which were regularly provided to print and electronic publications and posted to the web site for download. From September 11, 2001 to September 11, 2002, the I&C Team coordinated more than 300 individual on-site interviews or press events and approximately 220 tours of Phoenix Project activities for members of Congress foreign dignitaries, military officials, professional associations and government agencies. Phoenix Project personnel frequently served as guest speakers for a variety of groups at the local, national, and international conferences to discuss project progress and business and leadership strategies that led to the success of the project.

Performance Reporting

Phoenix Project metrics were provided via a detailed status report on schedule, cost and quality. Earned value analysis, trend analysis, contracting actions, requests for information and change order statistics were also featured report metrics. Additionally, safety statistics and public affairs efforts were reported. Following tenant move-in, an onsite project help desk was established adjacent to the new offices to answer questions and respond in real-time to tenant issues. This created a formalized process for cataloging and documenting the completed solutions.

Administrative Closure

The process of administrative closure began long before the Phoenix Project neared completion. Project results were documented and a package was put together for the formal acceptance of the rebuilt space. The turnover package included a layout of the geographical areas being transferred for use and possession, a list of equipment and systems, egress plans, pre-occupancy checklists, completed punchlist and remaining work items for each discipline, hard copy and electronic as-built drawings, operation and maintenance manuals, architectural product specifications and points of contact for all warranty work.

The culmination of the Phoenix Project occurred with the relocation of Pentagon personnel, the ultimate customer, back into their newly reconstructed offices. Post-move questionnaires were provided to each of the tenants during and after the move-in process. This provided Pentagon personnel relocating to the Phoenix Project area the opportunity to provide feedback on the relocation process, the new space, furniture, and phone and computer systems.

IX. Project Risk Management

The Phoenix Project was able to effectively transfer risk management to the contractors and subcontractors. The contract was written using a Total Systems Performance Responsibility (TSPR) construct. TSPR places total responsibility for project performance on the contractor and their subcontractors. In the case of the Phoenix Project, among the products selected for TSPR were the construction of the structure, design of the structure, and engineering and installation of the telecommunications and data backbone. The contractor determined the best delivery method of the constructed product.

The government enforced TSPR by writing a FPAFIF contract. The Award Fee was based on pre-determined factors in the contract. In order to score high on the award fee factors for schedule management, change control, quality control meant the contractor needed to manage their risk. The incentive fee ensured the government received the desired contract performance. The more money the contractor saved (cost underruns), the more the contractor and the government were able to share (cost savings). By analyzing, assessing, and mitigating risk, the contractor was able to reduce contingency funds.

AMEC, for example had their own Risk Management Plan. They were the prime contractor for the demolition and construction of the Phoenix structure. They had a FPAFIF contract which incentivized them to reduce risk. By eliminating uncertainties in the project, the cost of risk would be less, which would save the government money and allow AMEC to share in the savings. (Another motivator for AMEC to manage risk was a reporting requirement by the government of the United Kingdom; public companies are required to conduct risk planning and assessment of their projects. This is an auditable requirement and if not performed, they are required to report the deficiency in their annual report.)

How AMEC managed risk was through a written policy and guide on risk called, The Total Risk Management Guide. The Guide provides AMEC project managers methodologies on managing risks.

The AMEC risk plan begins with Tender Review. The review is conducted by the project manager with AMEC executives to understand all aspects of the project including the extent of Risk; Risk affects AMEC's bonding capacity. The review is required before a contract can be signed and follows a standard template that includes a risk assessment.

To understand how AMEC managed risk, asbestos abatement provides a good example. There were 3 activities associated with this risk:

  1. Airborne hazardous material at the point of removal. To assess the risk, AMEC called in AE&E (AMEC Earth and Environmental) to analyze and quantify the risk. They identified the risk was in the removal of friable material in the Wedge 2 portion of the Phoenix Project. A plan was subsequently developed to remove the friable hazards.
  2. Hazardous material in transport.
  3. Hazardous material storage: The contents of the debris had several unusual and unique qualities that made it difficult for AMEC to find a landfill. A city in Virigina agreed to store the debris on their landfill with several caveats.

The cost savings from performing risk management enabled the Phoenix Project to fund other optional activities. One example was the funding of the additional expense to build the flattop roof. The flattop roof helped move the TMIs to the left and provide more float in the schedule. The importance of finishing was so high, that when the roof was completed, a special ceremony was held by the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

Another approach AMEC used to manage risk was the implementation of the Pod concept (see Integration Management for a description of the AMEC Pod.) According to AMEC, their biggest risk was the dollars spent on material and equipment orders. Changes to the schedule in either direction would affect delivery on the orders. To mitigate that risk, each Pod posted a buy sheet that showed what was ordered and what was to be ordered with the expected delivery date.

Fortunately for the Phoenix Project, Washington DC had an usually mild winter. In September, special heaters were provided to ensure labor personnel were comfortable and the concrete could cure properly. Equipment to de-ice and remove snow was also on hand. The schedule initially factored in 5 days each month for bad weather which was another reason why the project was ahead of schedule.

To mitigate schedule delays, the IPT change process was streamlined. When necessary, the change process allowed work to proceed before the change was definitized and signed. Contractors submitted a ROM, which the Phoenix Project would then issue an NTP containing an NTE amount. In addition, the Defense Contracting Auditing Agency would conduct audits of the contractors to ensure costs were estimated correctly and the government charged correctly.

Tenant changes on the Wedge 1 renovation were common and a source of significant schedule delays. Phoenix Project schedule delays due to tenant changes were mitigated by communicating the constraints caused by the one-year anniversary deadline. Tenant change requests that still emerged were evaluated based on tenant need.

The early morning walk-throughs of the construction site were implemented for the specific purpose of mitigating risk. These walk-throughs would identify, real-time, design and construction issues, changes, and progress of construction. The results of these walk-throughs were then addressed in the daily 6:30 AM design meeting and 7:00 AM foreman's meeting.

X. Project Contract/Procurement Management

Procurement Planning

There were two unusual qualities to the Phoenix Project procurement plan.

First, was its structure as a TSPR contract. TSPR was used as a means to divest the government program office from system integration responsibilities. Simultaneously, it provided the contractor increased latitude in the management of the project. TSPR enabled the government to continue to control functional requirements while the contractor controlled design/product requirements. Thus, the contractor was fully responsible for the integration of all systems, subsystems, components, government furnished property (GFP), contractor furnished equipment (CFE), and support equipment and had to ensure no performance degradation after integration. Benefits from using the TSPR included decreased construction time, reduced costs and data, reduced Program Office manpower, fewer engineering change orders/ECPs, and increased product quality.

To support TSPR, the contract included an award fee plan that promoted contractor behavior to increase project performance.

Second, was the implementation of a design-build approach, which allowed design and construction to operate as a single entity under one contract. This was in contrast to the standard government contracting approach of design-bid-build, which often results in conflict between the design contractor, construction contractor and the owner.

Due to the emergency and rescue efforts at the beginning of the project, the procurement plan was to use the LOC. Funds were set-aside and letters were issued to contractors within days of the attack. These LOCs were cost-plus contracts with a limited duration and an NTE amount. The LOCs contained a clause requiring the contractor to convert to a definitized contract (TSPR with a FPAFIP).

Solicitation Planning, Solicitation, & Source Selection

The solicitation process was limited to awarding sole-source contracts. The LOCs were first issued as a temporary contract vehicle with the expectation that definitized contracts would be awarded. The primary activity during the solicitation was arriving at a mutually agreeable price and scope statement. Each contractor worked with the Phoenix Project IPT to provide their estimates and negotiate a final contract. All contracts were definitized by January 2002.

Contract Administration

Contractors typically had a KO as the primary interface to the government KO. The KOs worked together to assure compliance, interpretation of the law, negotiate changes to the contract, and provide signature authority. The relationship between the KOs was spelled out in the contract and by reference to the Federal Acquisition Regulations.

Contract Closeout

Closeout was a continuous process. As tenants moved into space and the space was accepted, that part of the Phoenix Project was then turned over to the owner. Once all tenant space was accepted, the Phoenix Project ended.

Administrative closeout consisted of logging and archiving all quality records for a particular tenant space. Quality records were signed in hard copy form and then sent to Office Engineering for archiving of all closeout records.

XI. Phoenix Project Team Leaders

The Pentagon Renovation Program considered its entire staff of 450 people, comprised of both contractors and government personnel, to be integral members of the Phoenix Project Team. Without the unilateral support and cross-referencing of resources, the Phoenix Project may have been completed on schedule but not without a negative impact on other Pentagon Renovation Program efforts. In addition, the 3,000 men and women who rebuilt the Pentagon in record time, all contributed to the management effort through personal accountability and patriotic dedication. The following, are team leaders, representative of the management staff responsible for the Phoenix Project's success.

  • Pentagon Renovation Program Manager, Lee Evey
  • Program Renovation Deputy Program Manager, Mike Sullivan
  • Project Managers, Will Colston, Dave Gabel, Jean Barnak
  • Deputy Project Manager, Mike Yopp
  • Structural Lead, Allyn Kilsheimer
  • Operations Manager, Jack Kelly
  • Legal Advisor, Andrew Blumenfeld
  • Project Engineer, Jeff Foltz
  • Project Engineer, Butch Wiles
  • Project Engineer, Bill Sullivan
  • Design Coordinator, Marc Gravalesse
  • Contracting Officer, Debbie Hoffman
  • Lead Quality Assurance Manager, Joe Cristofori
  • Office Engineer, Joe Constantine
  • Scheduler, Edwin Pickens
  • Chief Estimator, Rock Viner
  • Administrative Staff, Misty Kelly
  • Information Management & Telecommunications, Gary Gunther
  • Defense Protective Service Rep, Tolly Prather
  • Safety, Flo Cleyman
  • Information and Communications, Brett Eaton

XII. Acronyms and Abbreviations

BOE: Basis of Estimate

DoD: Department of Defense

ECP: Engineering Change Proposal

FBI: Federal Bureau of Investigation

FEMA: Federal Emergency Management Agency

FF&E: Furniture, Fixtures, and Equipment

FPAFIP: Fixed Price, Award Fee, Incentive Fee type contract

IM&T: Information Management & Technology

LOC: Letter of Contract

TSPR: Total System Performance Responsibility

NTE: Not To Exceed

PenRen: Pentagon Renovation Program

PM Project Manager

PMP: Program ManagementPlan

PPM: Program Manager

ROM: Rough Order of Magnitude

TMI: Tenant Move In

For a look at picture from The Pentagon Phoenix Project see:

Proceedings of PMI® Global Congress 2003 – North America
Baltimore, Maryland, USA ● 20-23 September 2003



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